There’s Strength in Numbers…Literally!

By Susan Poole

 Ever wonder why people choose to give through an endowment fund at a community foundation? It’s all about continuity.

Endowments are permanent funds where the principal is invested, while a portion of the fund is distributed annually to charitable causes. Individual gifts are preserved in perpetuity with the funds pooled for maximum benefit and invested to achieve long-term capital growth. It’s a great way to leave a legacy and benefit your community…forever.

Let’s take ‘Alice.’ Alice has been a long-time supporter of a local food pantry. She attends their special events, donates canned goods on a regular basis, and makes an annual monetary donation to support the agency’s annual operating budget. She does her part to “keep the lights on” from year to year.

But Alice has bigger plans too. She’s interested in the long-term sustainability of the organization and wants to make sure they’re provided for long after she’s gone. The good news is the pantry has a designated endowment fund at the local community foundation and Alice can help build that fund to provide a lasting source of income to her favorite nonprofit.

Alice’s story is just one example of how a community foundation can be used to achieve an individual’s philanthropic goals. Other ways include: establishing a donor-advised fund to participate in the funding process through grants to nonprofits; giving to a field of interest fund to support broad areas of interest (e.g., education, the arts, animal welfare); opening a scholarship fund to help students pursue their dreams of higher education; or donating unrestricted dollars to give the foundation flexibility in responding to the community’s emerging needs as they arise. 

For more information about the different ways to give back to your community, please contact Susan Poole, Development Officer at the Community Foundation of Lorain County, (440) 984-7390 or